January 09, 2014When I was just entering college my grandmother pulled me aside and tried to impart a bit of wisdom on her grandson saying, “Nothing good happens after midnight.”
At the time I remembered focusing on being polite, smiling and responding, “Yes ma’am,” while I was already discounting her grand-maternal insight. Although I knew Grandma loved me and desired the best for me, all I heard was limitation and “don’t.”
I wonder if this isn’t the way we approach our heavenly father’s wisdom in scripture.
From the 10 commandments, slangly referred to as the 10 “don’ts,” to teaching of Jesus to forgive even our enemies, we politely smile acknowledging content received, while we are internally dismissing it.
As the “don’t” and limitation echo in our mind we tend to picture God as some steely-eyed police officer or as some cosmic killjoy who is seemingly intent on hampering our fun.
This is sort of how I felt when my grandmother shared her insight on life.
I thought she was out of touch. After all she went to sleep by 9 p.m. at that stage in her life. It seemed like good instructions for senior citizens, not for those recently seniors in high school.
Yet, as I have grown older, I have come to understand she was trying to pass on a life lesson she had acquired. I also discovered she was correct. In my youthful naiveté I completely missed not only this wisdom, but my grandmother’s heart.
Now I see Grandma was seeking to give me insight so I might avoid trouble and things might go well with me.
My grandmother’s heart and intent sheds light on God’s instruction.
“Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, so that it may go well with you.” (Deuteronomy 6:18)
This phrase reveals the heart and intent of God’s wise counsel and commands. They are intended to bless our lives helping us steer around avoidable trouble and direct us in the best life possible so that it may go well with us.
As we enter into the new year, may we not miss God’s heart or God’s wisdom given in the Bible. After all, I don’t think any of our resolutions include “that it may go poorly for us.”
Wishing you all of God’s best in this new year.
Rizer is the minister at Living Hope Evangelical Church.